RE: virus: Book review

Chitren Nursinghdass (
Sat, 07 Jun 1997 15:05:32 +0200

At 10:54 06/06/97 -0700, vous avez écrit:
>Well, I read the article, but I didn't see anything about memetics. What
>are you talking about?

Well you can view it as a memtic battle, no ?

All ideas are memes, and the ways to oppose/join them are like

It's fun to watch this :

Dawkins is a radical opposer to any kind of fundamental religiosity.
And hence he is a great proponent of science.

And he is being accused of "fundamentalism" and so on by Gould !

The religious connotations of the position of "ultra-darwinism"
abound in Gould's text.

Too bad they are fighting each other these people.

At least it's only a war of words.

>My reaction to the review: Gould is a crushed man fighting for his
>reputation. The critique is without substance and resorts to ad-hominem
>attacks and arguments from authority.

As I see it, he already has a reputation and doesn't need to fight
for it.

He does talk about Motoo Kimura's neutralist theory at the molecular
level, doesn't he ?

But I agree he autocontradicts as well. But should they concentrate
on the similarity of their positions (Gradualism and punctuated equilibria),
they should find that they're the same.

In fact, viewing a timeline at different resolutions will make you
think that the workings of evolution are different, it's all in the

Reminds me of Darrel Huff's "How to lie with statistics" :

If you progression graph has a low gradient ("oh dear not much progress
suring this year !"),
just change the vertical scale ("my god what a staggering increase").

It's not true, but looks good on paper.

As Dawkins autocontradicts as well. "Genes are the real masters.
But then there's memes as well."
And only in the end chapter of "River out of Eden" does he hint at something
else : information as a fundamental unit of natural selection.

BTW, information unifies genes, phenes, and memes.

David Sloan Wilson reintroduces Group Selection and says "we will show
that the organ-organism-population trichotomy can be shifted vertically in
the biological hierarchy". And then he stops at the earth level.

Ok, so if we haven't observed anyhting like it, it doesn't mean it
cannot happen. If there should be a first time, then why not try
to consciously help it go that way.

Calvin sez : variation then selection at the data coding level in the cortex.
Dennett sez : variation then selection at the consciousness level (memes).
Kuhn sez : variation then selection at the scientific framework level.

But then, if one's individual consciousness is but a war of memes,
isn't science the same, a war of memesets ?

Then as we say an individual has a model of his universe to predict
spatio-temporal localized hazards,

Doesn't science provide us with a model of the earth and its environment ?

Isn't Internet a way of accelerating the scientific progress, isn't it
a type of nervous system, coupled with meta-brainlike activities.

Is Lovelock's Gaia becoming deRosnay's Cybiont ?

Check out Bloom, Russel, Heylighen, de Rosnay, Lovelock, Lynn Margulis,
Kevin Kelly, etc for the meta-organim.